Her Story, Her Heels begins with Nicole Duncan Smith- a mom, wife, minister, author, motivator sharing her story in her faith heels 👠👠👠
My grandfather was everything to me. Deacon James Tindal was so special and he taught me how to love God with all of my heart. He (before seminary, before licensing, before the sermons) saw that God was going to use me to spread the word. He believed that. I did not. In a culture where women were not allowed in the pulpit, I remember as a young girl during youth Sundays envious of the boys. The boys could do sermonettes. The boys could sit in the deacon chairs and the girls could only be ushers and say the announcements. The boys did not even respect the spaces that they were allowed to occupy. They would chew gum and laugh during the service. After service, my grandfather would take me home. He would tell me that God sees my spirit and if I were a girl or a boy. And he encouraged me to sign up to be the assistant Sunday School teacher for the children. I was 12. By 15, I was teaching and learning with adults. I was invited to speak at other churches for their women's month celebrations. When I enter college, it was my grandfather who advised me on how to balance my spiritual/ religious walk with all of the new theology I was being introduced to at Morehouse and Spelman. It was life-changing. I remember him telling me, "Don't get lost, trying to find yourself." But I did get lost. My sophomore year, my beloved "Pop Pop" died. I could not come home for the funeral and was compelled to pick up the pieces. He had been my religious sounding board and encouragement. He was the face of God that I had leaned on to move forward in church. But he was gone. He was gone, but His God was not. In those days, those weeks, those months and years after, I learned how to love God through my own lens with my own heart.
God became my friend. Before God was only my creator and a parental figure that rewarded and punished. I became faithful to God allowed my faith to heal from the isms of the world. Instead of leaning on someone else to help me get through, God showed me tools in The Word to tap into to help me overcome them. My story is different than most. I never left the church as a young person because my grandfather showed me God was also for me as a little Black girl. I was able to get to God, because my grandfather made sure that he lifted me high enough to access God.
My name is Nicole and my Faith Heels is about having the love of a grandfather that affirmed my woman hood.